Monday, March 16, 2009

Law Society criticizes S92A

The controversial Copyright Act (Section 92A), which was to come into force on 28 February dictated that Internet users’ accounts would have been terminated as a result of unproven accusations of piracy.

The Anti-S92 "black-out" brigade led by popular blogs assisted common sense to reign with the government delaying implementation this onerous Act.

The protests were colorful, used strong emotive language and initial relied heavily on social networks to gain momentum. It's good to have the support of the Auckland District Law Society that gives a cut and dry perspective on the ridiculous "guilty until proven innocent" proposed new copyright law.


If you think the debate over section 92A of New Zealand's new copyright law is getting a bit emotional, you are probably right.

Now a more sober group, the Auckland District Law Society, has pointed to issues in the legislation that it says could undermine "fundamental precepts of our common law system".

In its submission to the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum (TCF), which has been trying to draft a code to implement the law, the society's Law and Technology Committee says it considers S92A is out of step with sections 92B through to E in not reflecting recognised safe harbour provisions for ISPs.

It says s92A amounts to a mechanism whereby the copyright holder, an unrelated third party to the contract between an ISP and their customers, can interfere with that contract and this could amount to a tort of interference with contractual relations.

The Society is also critical of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act's definition of an ISP. It says all manner of businesses and organisations are included in the definition. An attempt in the TCF's draft code to deal with this by defining a "downstream ISP" is not adequate and a better approach would be to amend the legislation to exclude such organisations from the definition.

Source: Click HERE

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